TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The local government is ready for the expected return of more or less 3,000 residents who had been stranded in the different parts of Luzon following the downgrading of the city’s status from the previous enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to the prevailing general community quarantine (GCQ).
Mayor Darwin C. Estrañero said that among the preparations that were done by the city was the identification of the 42 schools in the 42 barangays that will serve as isolation units for those who will be recommended to undergo the prescribed 14-day quarantine and the city’s isolation unit at the Tabuk National High School that will serve as the quarantine facility for symptomatic individuals and a portion of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management building as the holding area for suspected and probable Corona virus Disease (COVID) 2019.
He disclosed that the 42 isolation facilities in the city’s barangays could accommodate a maximum of 770 individuals, the city isolation unit could cater to the needs of 150 persons while the city holding area could hold some 45 people at a single time.
The local chief executive added that the funds that were used to purchase the required equipment and materials in the said facilities and the renovation and improvement of the same came from available local funds that was augmented by a portion of the P93.5 million Bayanihan grant that was given to the city by the national government.
Further, Mayor Estrañero claimed that the local government also downloaded to the barangays P10,000 each as financial assistance to extend the needed assistance to the same for their anti-COVID operations and activities during the implementation of the ECQ that had been instrumental in maintaining the city’s status as COVID-free to date.
He urged returning locally stranded individuals to simply comply with the prescribed requirements that will be presented in the checkpoints so as not to delay their planned return to their places following the downgrading of the city’s status to GCQ based on the latest decision of the national inter-agency task force for the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.
Kalinga, including the component city of Tabuk, were earlier included in the low risk areas and were placed under GCQ status by the national inter-agency task force effective May 1, 2020 that paved the way for the resumption of operation of a few number of businesses in additional to the essential businesses that operated during the ECQ implementation.
Estrañero expressed his gratitude to the barangay officials, the frontliners, particularly the health workers and the members of the uniformed service, officials and employees of the local government and concerned government agencies and volunteers who sacrificed their time, effort and even personal resources to ensure that the city’s anti-COVID operations and activities will be successful.
He called on the residents of the city not to be complacent on the downgrading of the city’s status to GCQ as there is still a need for them to be vigilant to prevent the possible spread of the deadly virus in the city that will ruin the gains that had been achieved during the ECQ implementation.